50 Exciting Things You Can Do at 18

Turning 18 is a major milestone in a teen’s life. At 18, teens are legally considered adults and gain a host of new freedoms and responsibilities overnight.

While excited teens may want to rush into all of these newly available options, it’s important to carefully consider each choice. Just because you can legally do something at 18 doesn’t always mean you should. Think through decisions thoroughly and rely on support from parents, mentors and other trusted adults for guidance.

From Teen to Adult: Things You Can Do at 18 and Explore

Below are 50+ things teens gain the legal right to do when they become adults at 18:

Voting & Civic Duties

  • Register to vote and participate in elections
  • Serve on a jury and participate in jury duty
  • Run for public office such as city council or mayor
  • Sign/circulate petitions for a cause

Military & Firearms

  • Enlist in the armed forces without parental consent
  • Own and operate firearms (restrictions vary by state)

Finance & Gambling

  • Open credit cards and take out loans
  • Accumulate debt and declare bankruptcy
  • Invest in the stock market and real estate
  • Play state lottery and visit casinos for gambling


  • Rent an apartment without a cosigner
  • Check into a hotel alone


  • Get married without parental or court consent
  • Divorce spouse without restrictions
  • Adopt a child


  • Make medical decisions without parental input
  • Access medical records confidentially
  • Donate blood and plasma


  • Sign legally binding contracts

Transportation & Travel

  • Rent/buy property for housing
  • Book hotels and accommodations
  • Fly domestically without ID
  • Rent a car (charges may apply for underage)
  • Drive for Uber, Lyft or delivery

Technology Use

  • Sign up for and manage your own phone plan
  • Download any apps and access any websites

Social Media & Internet

  • Sign up for all social media accounts
  • Post content online without censorship
  • Purchase cryptocurrency

Entertainment & Media

  • Attend casinos and gambling facilities
  • Purchase lottery tickets
  • Attend adult-only concerts and events
  • Appear in media such as reality shows


  • Work unlimited hours
  • Join the police academy and law enforcement
  • Apply for any job regardless of hazards/conditions
  • Drop out of school (not recommended)


  • Buy M-rated video games
  • Purchase tobacco, vape products and paraphernalia
  • Buy groceries, household items, cars
  • Open your own PO box to receive mail confidentially

Substances & Vices

  • Purchase and consume alcohol and cannabis (where legal)
  • Get tattoos and body piercings without parental consent
  • Buy spray paint, glue, and other hazardous items


  • Take out private student loans and apply for grants
  • Apply for colleges and universities solo

Criminal Acts & Punishment

  • Jailed with adults if arrested
  • Tried and sentenced as an adult for crimes
  • Death penalty eligibility for serious offenses

Financial Aid

  • Apply for financial aid and scholarships solo
  • Take full responsibility for student loan debt

While many of these new privileges are exciting, not all activities are wise for an 18-year-old to engage in. Some have serious risks associated with them if not thoroughly considered. Teens should maintain open conversations with caring adults to make the soundest choices. Though legally an adult, mentors can provide invaluable guidance as you navigate this new phase of independence.

Turning 18 is an opportunity to demonstrate maturity and personal responsibility. Welcoming these new freedoms thoughtfully and weighing them against your values will set you on the right track to adulthood. Stay focused on your goals and surround yourself with positive role models. The choices you make at 18 can impact the rest of your life, so use your best judgment!